October 13, 2014 | VillageReach
Gates Foundation grant to support low-cost digitizing of village health data
Researchers developing ODK Scan, a tool in the Open Data Kit suite that digitizes data on paper forms, have received new support in the form of a $470,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ODK Scan uses built-in camera and image-processing technology in lower-cost smartphones to improve data visibility through to the “last mile” of the health system. Open Data Kit development is led by Gaetano Borriello, a UW professor of computer science and engineering. The nonprofit VillageReach, which partners with Borriello's team, is the recipient of the grant. See also: VillageReach press release | Washington Post | YouTube
October 8, 2014 | UW Today
UW fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal
What started as a class project in a course taught by UW aeronautics and astronautics professor Thomas Jarboe has evolved into a fusion reactor design that could rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output. The design team has filed for patents for their reactor, known as the dynomak, and plans to scale up prototypes.
October 2, 2014 | UW Today
Major award to support data visualization research
Researchers in the natural and social sciences will benefit from an award that will bring new talent, courses and tools in big-data discovery and analysis to labs and departments across campus. Jeffrey Heer, an associate professor in CSE, was selected for the Moore Investigator in Data-Driven Discovery award to develop new theories, tools and techniques for data visualization. The grant, $1.5 million over five years, will allow Heer’s group – the UW Interactive Data Lab – to expand its work and enable campus researchers to more effectively explore and analyze data.
See also: Moore Foundation news release
September 30, 2014 | UW Today
UW students to build hybrid-electric muscle car in EcoCAR3 contest
Classes have barely started, yet one group of UW students is already in the lab, with no time to waste.
The students are the Advanced Vehicle Works team, otherwise known as UW EcoCAR. Their challenge in this next four-year competition is to convert a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric car.
See also: UW EcoCAR Facebook
September 23, 2014 | UW Engineering
College of Engineering alumna receives a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship
Tami Bond, a UW College of Engineering alumna and professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has won a "genius" award from the MacArthur Foundation. According to a profile on the MacArthur Foundation website, Bond "has provided the most comprehensive synthesis of the impact of black carbon on climate to date, indicating that global black carbon emissions are one of the most important contributions to anthropogenic (or man-made) climate change." At UW, she received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1993 and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2000 advised by professors in civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, and atmospheric sciences. See also: Climate Progress
September 22, 2014 | UW Today
New RFID technology helps robots find household objects
Matt Reynolds, an associate professor in EE and CSE, has helped develop a new search algorithm that improves a robot’s ability to find and navigate to tagged objects. The team has implemented its system on a type of robot called a PR2, allowing it to travel through a home and correctly locate different types of tagged household objects, including a medication bottle, TV remote, phone and hair brush.
September 19, 2014 | UW Today
UW students help install cabled deep-sea observatory
This summer and fall UW students helped scientists and engineers complete construction of the world’s largest deep-ocean observatory off the coast of Washington and Oregon. The nearly 45 students also worked with a specialized robot called ROPOS that installs cables, power and communication hubs, and instruments on the ocean floor as part of the observatory construction phase.
September 19, 2014 | UW Today
Reflected smartphone transmissions enable gesture control
A new form of low-power wireless sensing technology could soon let users “train” their smartphones to recognize and respond to specific hand gestures near the phone. The technology – developed in the labs of EE and CSE associate professors Matt Reynolds and Shwetak Patel and implemented in a project called SideSwipe – utilizes the phone’s own wireless transmissions.
September 17, 2014 | Seattle Times blog
With “Startup Hall,” U District aims to be new tech hub
Brier Dudley reports on Startup Hall, a rentable space for startups now operating on the second floor of a former UW law school building. With three anchor tenants that finance and incubate startups and a sea of coworking desks rented out for $350 per month, one goal is jumpstarting the formation of a U District tech hub.
See also: GeekWire video | King 5 News
September 10, 2014 | UW Engineering
Grant will fund clinical trials of mobile app that measures lung function
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) recently announced a $250,000 grant to UW for a clinical trial of SpiroSmart, a mobile app for performing spirometry: monitoring lung function by measuring forceful exhalation. The principal investigator is Shwetak Patel, an associate professor of computer science & engineering and electrical engineering.
September 4, 2014 | UW Engineering
Anthony Waas to chair UW Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Anthony M. Waas, University of Michigan's Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering, has been named the new chair of the University of Washington's William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics. His term will begin in early 2015.
August 27, 2014 | UW Today
New smartphone app can detect newborn jaundice in minutes
UW engineers and physicians have developed a smartphone application that checks for jaundice in newborns. Parents or pediatricians take a photo of the baby with a color calibration card in view and data are sent to the cloud for immediate analysis and feedback. The report could indicate whether the baby needs a blood test.
August 26, 2014 | UW Today
Scientists craft a semiconductor only three atoms thick
Scientists have developed a new class of nanoscale materials that could provide the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better LEDs, and solar technologies. The research was published online in Nature Materials. MSE's Xiaodong Xu is a senior author.
August 25, 2014 | Seattle Times
Gamers helping UW in Ebola research
Players of the online computer game Foldit are helping University of Washington researchers in their search for a cure for the Ebola virus. Foldit is a project of UW's Center for Game Science, directed by computer science and engineering professor Zoran Popović.
August 21, 2014 | UW Today
Busy midsummer week for UW undergraduate researchers
Mary Gates Hall was packed the morning of August 20 for the Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Session. UW Today's story about the event features incoming freshman Trinh Ha and her project on electrochromatic windows. Ha participated in an eight-week summer research program under the guidance and mentorship of Minoru Taya, a UW professor of mechanical engineering.
August 19, 2014 | UW Today
Shyam Gollakota named one of world’s top innovators under 35
Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering, has been named one of this year’s “Innovators Under 35” by global media company MIT Technology Review. Gollakota's research focuses on leveraging wireless signals around us to power devices and enable new gesture-recognition capabilities. UW CSE alumni Kuang Chen and Kurtis Heimerl were similarly honored -- see the UW CSE News item!
August 18, 2014 | UW Today
StopInfo for OneBusAway app makes buses more usable for blind riders
Each month, about 350,000 people in the Puget Sound area use OneBusAway, a free service developed at UW that uses real-time data to track when your bus will arrive. But for blind users, "it’s not always clear where the bus stop is" according to Cynthia Bennett, a UW research scientist. StopInfo is a OneBusAway extension designed to fill that gap using data validated and provided by bus riders. See also: YouTube video | FOX News
August 12, 2014 | UW Center for Commercialization
UW start-up Applied Dexterity creates innovation ecosystem for medical robotics
The creators of RAVEN, an open-source platform for robotic surgery developed at UW, saw that their system could be useful for more than just remote surgery. With help from the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C), they formed Applied Dexterity, Inc. to take the product to market, providing a ready-to-run platform with which to do cutting-edge biorobotics research.
August 04, 2014 | UW Today
No-power Wi-Fi connectivity could fuel an 'Internet of Things' reality
A team of UW engineers has designed a new communication system that uses radio frequency signals as a power source and reuses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to provide Internet connectivity to everyday objects that have embedded sensors. Called Wi-Fi backscatter, this technology is the first that can connect battery-free devices to Wi-Fi infrastructure.
See also: research results
July 29, 2014 | UW Today
UW celebrates record 18 start-up companies in 2014
Washington Governor Jay Inslee and UW President Michael Young kicked off the 2014 UW Start-Up Celebration in honor of a record 18 new spin-outs—a good number of them based in UW engineering research. The UW ranks 3rd in the nation for number of companies spinning out of a university. See a list of the start-ups and more pictures from the event at UW C4C News.
July 28, 2014 | UW Today
New protein structure could help treat Alzheimer’s, related diseases
UW bioengineers have a designed a peptide structure that can stop the harmful changes of the body’s normal proteins into a state that’s linked to widespread diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The synthetic molecule blocks the proteins as they shift from their normal state into an abnormally folded form by targeting a toxic intermediate phase. “If you can truly catch and neutralize the toxic version of these proteins, then you hopefully never get any further damage in the body,” said senior author Valerie Daggett, a UW professor of bioengineering.
July 22, 2014 | UW Today
Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides
A new study shows the disastrous landslide that killed 43 people at Oso, Washington involved the "remobilization" of a 2006 landslide in the same place. Joseph Wartman, a UW associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is a team leader for the study.
July 17, 2014 | New York Times via CSE News
Some universities crack code in drawing women to computer science
The New York Times cites University of Washington as a "technology powerhouse" that is well above national averages when it comes to the percentage of women among its computer science graduates. UW's Computer Science & Engineering news page excerpts the article and provides related links and a chart.
July 2, 2014 | Xconomy
UW engineers fuel record-breaking startup boom
The UW spun out 18 startup companies in the past fiscal year. And although the article doesn't name the UW engineers involved, we do! AnswerDash co-founder Jake Wobbrock is an associate professor in CSE (on leave). Applied Dexterity co-founders Blake Hannaford is a professor in EE and Andrew Lewis was a grad student in ME. BluHaptic's chair is Howard Chizeck, professor in EE, VP is Fredrik Ryden, an EE PhD, and ocean engineering Andy Stewart is an affiliate assistant professor in the Applied Physics Lab. Lodespin Labs is led by MSE professor Kanaan Krishnan and MSE PhDs Matthew Ferguson and Amit Khandhar. Medical Models' owner is Michael Fassbind, BS, MS in ME. PETX's Paul Kinahan is an adjunct professor of Bioengineering. PolyDrops leaders are all from ChemE: Volha Hrechka, BS; Gregory Newbloom, PhD candidate, and associate professor Lilo D. Pozzo. VerAvanti's founder is Gerald McMorrow, BS, ME in EE.
June 26, 2014 | UW Today
Ask the crowd: Robots learn faster, better with online helpers
UW computer scientists have shown that crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks. Instead of learning from just one human, robots could one day query the larger online community, asking for instructions or input on the best way to set the table or water the garden. The research team is led by Computer Science & Engineering's Rajesh Rao and Maya Cakmak.
June 25, 2014 | UW Today
News digest: $5.2M award for traffic-safety research
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $5.2 million to a multi-university regional transportation center led by the UW for ongoing research in transportation safety and sustainability issues. The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium, or PacTrans, represents Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.
June 24, 2014 | UW Today
Rhoads leaving UW commercialization; Jandhyala takes new innovation post
Linden Rhoads, who as vice provost for commercialization has greatly boosted the number of patents and startup companies coming from the University of Washington each year, has announced plans to return to private industry. On July 1, Vikram Jandhyala, a UW professor of electrical engineering and an inaugural Center for Commercialization entrepreneurial faculty fellow, will take over the new position of vice provost for innovation.
June 23, 2014 | UW Today
Zippy, electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research
The UW has been selected to receive 4 all-electric micro vehicles that will communicate data via the UW's wireless network and tablet-size onboard PCs. The information will be sent to various, to-be-determined research projects in sensing, energy, communications, and transportation. Project leaders — Daniel Kirschen, professor in EE; Yinhai Wang, professor in CEE; and Payman Arabshahi, associate professor in EE — will choose projects from proposals submitted by UW faculty. Potential projects range from using the cars to test automated parking technologies, developing a program similar to the UW’s NightRide service, strategizing the best way to charge electric cars, and even detecting and recording bird songs on campus. The research and project designs will involve undergraduate and graduate students.
June 19, 2014
David McDonald appointed chair of HCDE
David McDonald was appointed chair and associate professor of the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering effective June 23, 2014. McDonald comes to HCDE from the UW's Information School (iSchool) and brings a wide breadth of experience as a leader, educator, and researcher. His research interests span Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Social Computing. McDonald has taught a breadth of technical development, design, analysis, and methods courses and has demonstrated a commitment to student mentorship.
June 17, 2014 | UW Today
Ferries for science: Instrument will monitor flow in Puget Sound
A sensor mounted on the hull of the ferry Salish will measure water direction and speed from top to bottom in Admiralty Inlet. By better understanding circulation at this "gateway between the ocean and Puget Sound," researchers can help trace events like low-oxygen fish kills to human or nonhuman causes. Jim Thomson, an oceanographer with the UW Applied Physics Laboratory and an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering is quoted.
June 16, 2014 | UW Today
Sensor in eye could track pressure changes, monitor for glaucoma
A low-power sensor could be placed permanently in a person's eye to track hard-to-measure changes in eye pressure. The sensor would be embedded with an artificial lens during cataract surgery and would detect pressure changes instantaneously, then transmit the data wirelessly using radio frequency waves. The researchers, including UW EE professor Karl Böhringer and EE associate professor Brian Otis, published their results in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering and filed patents on an initial prototype of the pressure-monitoring device.
June 12, 2014 | UW Today
New computer program aims to teach itself everything about anything
Computer scientists from UW and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle have created the first fully automated computer program that teaches everything there is to know about any visual concept. Called Learning Everything about Anything, or LEVAN, the program searches millions of books and images on the Web to learn all possible variations of a concept, then displays the results to users as a comprehensive, browsable list of images. See also: YouTube video
May 7, 2014 | UW Today
UW building teleoperated robots for disaster response in national challenge
University of Washington electrical engineers have developed telerobotics technology that could make disaster response faster and more efficient. By adding haptics (tactile feedback technology) to remotely controlled robots outfitted with video cameras, researchers have increased the range and precision of tasks emergency responders can perform using robots. On May 13, the team will demonstrate their technology on campus in preparation for the SmartAmerica Challenge Summit in Washington, D.C.
May 5, 2014 | UW Bioengineering
BioE senior receives Bonderman Travel Fellowship
Nicole Trosper, a bioengineering undergrad, received a 2014 Bonderman Travel Fellowship, which allows students to pursue the life-changing benefits of travel – without undertaking academic study or research during the award term. Trosper plans to travel to Brazil, southeastern Africa, Cambodia and Vietnam. She is interested in seeing the role of medicine and engineering across cultures, and how the disciplines enhance cultural identity.
April 30, 2014 | UW Health Sciences NewsBeat
Scientists regenerate heart muscle in primates
In a major advance, UW researchers have successfully restored damaged heart muscle of monkeys using heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells. Dr. Charles Murry, a UW professor of pathology, bioengineering, and medicine, led the research team that conducted the experiment.
April 23, 2014 | UW Today
Thousands on campus for Engineering Discovery Days, April 25-26
Don’t be surprised if you see a water rocket launch along Rainier Vista or a human-powered submarine showing off by the fountain this week! Engineering Discovery Days is Friday and Saturday, April 25-26. The event is free and open to the public.
April 15, 2014 | UW Today
UW graduate’s lens turns any smartphone into a portable microscope
UW mechanical engineering alumnus Thomas Larson (’13) has taken the plunge into entrepreneurship: his Olympia, WA company is producing low-cost, plastic lenses that turn smart phones and tablet computers into microscopes. Larson's path to commercialization began in the lab of ME associate professor Nathan Sniadecki and progressed through the UW Business Plan Competition and a successful Kickstarter campaign.
See also: The Olympian
April 11, 2014 | UW Today
UWEE and Shanghai university collaborate on combined BSEE/MSEE program
UW Electrical Engineering and the School of Electronics, Information and Electrical Engineering (SEIEE) in Shanghai, China are collaborating to build a combined BSEE and MSEE program. The programs already have strong ties, with 3 UWEE PhD alumni teaching at SEIEE. UWEE chair and professor Vikram Jandhyala and CoE Advancement's Mahnaz Sherzoi traveled to China to seal the deal.
February 27, 2014 | UW Today
Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices
UW engineering team has built a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The prototype, called AllSee, uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user's gesture command. The research is led by Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and assisted by graduate students in electrical engineering.
See also: Bringing Gesture Recognition To All Devices (technical paper)
February 20, 2014 | UW Today
NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' advocates 'audacious,' creative engineering
Bobak Ferdowsi, a NASA flight engineer who became known as "Mohawk Guy" after sporting a mohawk hairstyle during the 2012 rover Curiosity’s landing on Mars, spoke to a class of University of Washington aeronautics and astronautics engineering students on Feb. 19. Ferdowsi was a student in the department and graduated from the UW in 2001. He spoke with UW News & Information's Michelle Ma after his talk.
See also: Columns alumni magazine
February 6, 2014 | UW Today
Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes
UW scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could potentially reduce the time it takes to diagnose cancer to a matter of minutes. A prototype made from silicon and teflon tubes uses fluid transport to convey pieces of tissue through a series of steps -- the same steps that full-scale pathology labs apply. (Pictured: ME undergraduate Chris Burfeind.) See also:
January 27, 2014 | UW Today
Facelift complications eased with help of new 3-D imaging technique
BioE professor Ruikang Wang's lab has pioneered a fine-resolution imaging technique called optical microangiography that creates 3-D images of tiny vascular networks without touching or adding dyes. The technique allows scientists to look at blood vessels during an injection and may lead to insight into other vascular health issues such as strokes, traumatic brain injuries, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
January 22, 2014
François Baneyx: new chair of UW chemical engineering
François Baneyx, the Charles W.H. Matthaei Professor in Chemical Engineering, has stepped into the role of Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. François has held many leadership positions, including directing the UW Center for Nanotechnology, NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, and NSF Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineering Center (co-director). Dean Mike Bragg describes François as an exceptional scholar whose many awards include his 2013 election as a Fellow in the AAAS. He takes over from Dan Schwartz who is the new director of the Clean Energy Institute.
January 21, 2014 | UW Today
Dental school researchers patent new antibacterial agent
Four UW School of Dentistry faculty members have received a patent for a new way of using titanium-based materials to fight oral bacteria. The method employs a novel class of substances called titanates and peroxotitanates, which can inhibit bacterial growth without incurring the toxicity risks the metals would otherwise pose. BioE's James Bryers was co-principal investigator on federally-funded research that culminated in the patent.
January 15, 2014 | UW Today
Glaciers, streamflow changes are focus of new Columbia River study
As the Earth warms, experts know the Columbia River will change—they just don’t know how much or when. UW environmental engineers are launching a new study to try to understand how climate change will affect streamflow patterns, important for guiding long-term decision-making for the Columbia River Basin. UW Civil & Environmental Engineering professor Dennis Lettenmaier is leading the project with CEE researcher Bart Nijssen and OSU's Philip Mote.
January 10, 2014 | UW Today
Trial to test using ultrasound to move kidney stones
A new device developed at the University of Washington would let doctors use ultrasound to move kidney stones inside the body and help them pass by natural means. Instead of breaking up large stones, this technique "could move small stones to reduce pain, expense and treatment times" according to ME assistant professor Charles Bailey. With urologists eager to use the new technology, the team hopes to move rapidly to commercialization. See also: YouTube
January 7, 2014 | UW Today
On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles
UW chemical engineering professor François Baneyx hopes a new type of vaccine shown to work in mice will one day make it cheaper and easy to manufacture on-demand vaccines for humans. "A field doctor could see the beginnings of an epidemic, make vaccine doses right away, and blanket-vaccinate the entire population in the affected area to prevent the spread of an epidemic," said Baneyx, lead author of a recent paper published online in the journal Nanomedicine.
January 3, 2014 | HCDE News
HCDE department chair shines as leader in field
Jan Spyridakis, department chair and professor of HCDE, shines as the most published experimental researcher in the last 20 years in technical communication journals. She coauthored 11% of the total sample on a breadth of themes, including comprehension, genre, technology, communication strategies, and editing and style. The same study found that researchers at the UW had the most output of any other research affiliate.